1992 Suzuki Sidekick radiator low on coolant

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Oct 282017

Suzuki Sidekick

I had the timing belt changed via an auto mechanic on my 1992 Suzuki Sidekick 2WD JS 16Valve. The radiator has always had fluid in it. When I got it back it had fluid only in the reservoir. I told the mechanic and put fluid in it and drove it back, he said it was a faulty radiator cap. I bought a new one. He said the reservoir holds all the fluid the radiator needs.

I have had this car since it was new and it always had fluid in the radiator. (I replaced it with a brand new radiator approx. 3 years ago.). I am not sure why the radiator is not keeping coolant in it. I am a 63 year old woman and my knowledge of this area is limited. Any ideas ? My mechanic is on vacation or I would call him. Thank you

The reservoir is more like a reserve tank. If the coolant in the radiator becomes low it will draw from it.

If the radiator is low then it should be filled along with the reservoir tank. Then let the engine run for a few minutes to assist in purging any air from the cooling system. Allow the engine to cool and remove the radiator cap and top off.

filling radiator on Suzuki Sidekick

Drive it for a few days and check the coolant level in the radiator often to make sure there is no leak. If the coolant level continues to go down repeatedly, you will need to have the cooling system pressure tested to locate the leak. Once the leak is located, have it repaired.

How to fill the Cooling System

NOTE: The vehicle must be parked on level ground when filling the cooling system.

  1. Install the radiator drain plug, then fill the radiator with the proper coolant and install the radiator cap. When installing the radiator cap, ensure that it is fully tightened.
  2. Start the engine and allow it to idle for 2–3 minutes to purge air from the cooling system, then turn the engine OFF.
  3. Remove the radiator cap and, if necessary, add coolant to the radiator until the coolant level is at the base of the fill neck.
  4. Inspect the coolant level in the reserve tank and, if necessary, add coolant to bring the level in the tank to the FULL mark.

Temp Gauge goes hot Suzuki Sidekick

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Aug 272017

Suzuki Sidekick


Sounds like you have an issue with the gauge, sensor or wiring in between. If you could be so kind as to provide the year of the vehicle we could provide you with a wiring diagram.

May 042017

2005 Suzuki ForenzaThe timing slipped and am putting in new valves and guides. I don’t know how deep to drive the valve guides

How deep to drive the valve guides

Insert the valve guides in the cylinder head in their original positions. Drive the guide in until it stops against the bore.

Valve Guide repair options

Whether you repair guides on an “as needed” basis or automatically redo all the guides anytime a head is rebuilt, you have a variety of guide repair options from which to choose. Most re-builders either go with thin wall bronze liners and reclaimed valves, or install new or re-chromed valves with oversized stems. Replacing guides is another option with aluminum heads as well as some cast iron heads, as is knurling. Most re-builders have tried all of these techniques at one time or another, but usually stick with a single technique that fits their operation best, or gives them the least amount of problems.

One recommendation here is to preheat the heads in an oven prior to guide removal and to lubricate dry liners before driving them out. The head should
also be preheated before the new guides are installed. Chilling the replacement guides can reduce the amount of interference during installation. Lubricant also helps prevent galling. With tapered guides, care must be taken to install them from the right side. Most wet guides are tapered, and also require sealer to prevent leaks.

Source: www.enginebuildermag.com

Jan 302017

Suzuki ForenzaCheck engine light comes on. And then when you try to pass a car it will not down shift into passing gear. Auto trans. The light turns off then it shifts normal.


This sounds about right. If the PCM detects an issue with the transmission the check engine light will illuminate and may keep it from shifting. This can happen when dirt inside the transmission contaminates the fluid. Thus hindering the proper function of the internal components of the transmission.

The good news is the PCM records the trouble code and stores it. This means you can have a technician hook up a scan tool and determine the code. The code will provide insight into what exact component is having an issue.

Jan 082017



No. There is no fuse that needs to be taken out when bleeding the brakes. Sometimes it just takes a good while to bleed a system.

Brake pedal feels spongy or has excessive travel

  1. Check the brake fluid level and condition. If the fluid is contaminated or has not been flushed every two years, clean the master cylinder reservoir, and bleed and flush the brakes using fresh brake fluid that meets the manufacturer’s recommended standards.
  2. Check for a weak or damaged flexible brake hydraulic hose. Replace the hose and flush the brake system.
  3. If the brake system uses drum brakes front or rear, check the brake adjustment. Inspect for seized adjusters and clean or replace, then properly adjust.

Brake Bleeding

The master cylinder should be bled before connecting it to the system. Usually referred to as bench bleeding.  Once that is done hook it up and start at the wheel furthest from the master cylinder. Usually the rear passenger side. Bleed until there is no air. Then move to the drivers rear. Then the passenger front and lastly the drivers front. If the pedal still has to be pumped up to get any kind of pedal, Then you didn’t do it right or there is a leak in the system.

Dec 222016

2010 Suzuki SX4Failed smog check, obd2 monitors not ready.


This happens when someone clears the check engine light right before the smog check. The vehicle has to be driven for a while for the system to under go its readiness test. This is referred to as a drive cycle. Some cars require more than one drive cycle on more than one or two days.

What is a Drive Cycle?

A drive cycle is used to replicate certain conditions that are deemed normal for the everyday use of the vehicle. This may include starting the engine and letting it idle for a certain amount of time. Then buckling the seat belt and driving a certain length of time at a certain speed. It may include driving at highway speeds and then slowing down to around 30 mph and then stopping and then returning to 30 mph. Heavy acceleration and soft acceleration. Idling at a stop for 20 seconds.

On many cars, one of these Drive Cycles is sufficient enough to set all or most of the Readiness Monitors. Other vehicles require that this entire process be repeated on two or more successive days.

OBD Readiness

One reason some vehicles cannot complete the E-Check is the on board diagnostic (OBD II) system readiness monitors are not set. Frequently, this is caused by erasing the memory from the OBD system by either clearing any diagnostic trouble codes (DTC) or disconnecting the battery. If possible, when working on a vehicle that has failed the E-Check OBD II test due to an activated malfunction indicator lamp (MIL, check engine light), do not clear the DTC(s). When the cause of the original failure has been repaired properly, the DTC(s) will clear and the MIL will go out when the OBD system tests the repaired emissions control system.
If the DTC(s) have been cleared, there are various drive cycles to reset the monitors. Some monitors are continuously checked and take little driving to reset those. Some other monitors are checked intermittently and take more specific driving conditions to reset.
Many vehicle manufacturers now include these drive cycles in the vehicle’s owner’s manual. Others will provide information in Technical Service Bulletins (TSB). Please note, some specific published drive cycles are intended to reset all monitors in the shortest amount of time as possible. In many cases, a few days of normal driving, both city and highway, will reset the monitors.

Dec 052016

2004 Suzuki XL7How do you remove the rear axles? to replace bearings and seals.


Axle Shaft, Replace Bearings and Seals


  • Before servicing the vehicle.
  • Loosen the parking brake cable for clearance.
  • Remove or disconnect the following:
    • Rear wheel
    • Brake drum
    • Wheel speed sensor, if equipped
    • Bearing retainer nuts
    • Axle shaft and bearing
    • Axle shaft inner oil seal
  • If equipped with ABS, grind a flat spot on the wheel speed sensor tone ring, then split the ring with a chisel.
  • Grind flat spots on the bearing retainer and split it with a chisel.
  • Press the wheel bearing off the axle shaft.
  • Remove the bearing retainer and the outer oil seal.

To install:

  • Install or connect the following:
    • Outer oil seal to the bearing retainer
    • Bearing retainer to the axle shaft
    • Bearing and retainer ring pressed onto the axle shaft
    • Wheel speed sensor tone ring pressed onto the axle shaft, if equipped
    • Axle shaft inner oil seal
    • Axle shaft and bearing
    • Bearing retainer nuts. Tighten them to 17 ft. lbs. (23 Nm).
    • Wheel speed sensor, if equipped
    • Brake drum
    • Rear wheel
  • Fill the rear differential to the correct level.


Nov 022016

2006 Suzuki AerioI hear a knocking sound coming from the engine and its bit bad for speeds above 50 mph. I recently replaced spark plugs with recommended aftermarket ones and did an oil change. However, this noise goes away (or settle down) when I steer the wheel to right (even a very little to the right) and its consistent. Please tell me where do I begin. Thanks


If the noise can only be reproduced when driving and not by revving the engine in park, it is most likely not in the engine. Since the noise can be changed when steering, looking at things attached to the front wheels would be the best place to start looking. Here is an excellent article to get you started.


Aug 012016

1996 Suzuki X90My clutch pedal keeps shearing, Do I need to replace clutch? and, it was towed from the front, when putting transfer case in neutral, rear wheels are still engaged, had to tow in 2wheel drive,, Then found out it was supposed to be towed from the rear!,, What happened to the transfer case ? why wont it go into neutral?


Hard to tell without taking it apart and seeing what is broken. This is just one of those things that doesn’t happen that often. Not common enough to be able to make a significant guess. Tearing into it is going to be required for this one.

Jul 012016

Ignition Timing 2002 Suzuki XL7I recently replaced the hydraulic lifters, timing chains and tensioners. I also replaced the water pump, crankshaft sensor, maf sensor, hoses, gaskets, valve guides and seals and re-machined both heads. The passenger side backfires. And the catalytic converter overheats on the passenger side. My 2002 Suzuki xl7 2.7L V6 2wd gains speed very weak and slowly no matter how much I press the gas. I am at a loss. The exhaust system is not clogged anywhere. Any ideas would be appreciated.


I suspect all your issues are related. The converter is burning excessive fuel making it hot. This can happen from a stuck open fuel injector or fuel being sprayed at the wrong TIME. Back firing happens when the fuel is sparked at the wrong TIME. The engine can only backfire when the fuel is sparked and the valves are open. Also with the engine not wanting to accelerate for you, this can occur with poor ignition TIMING. Do we see the trend here. After you install the timing chain it is recommended that the engine be turned over a couple times and the timing marks re-checked.

Ignition Timing for interference engines

Engines, chain- or belt-driven, can be classified as either free-running or interference, depending on what would happen if the piston-to-valve timing is disrupted. A free-running engine is designed with enough clearance between the pistons and valves to allow the crankshaft to rotate (pistons still moving) while the camshaft stays in one position (several valves fully open). If this condition occurs normally, no internal engine damage will result. In an interference engine, there is not enough clearance between the pistons and valves to allow the crankshaft to turn without the camshaft being in time.

An interference engine can suffer extensive internal damage if a timing belt fails. The piston design does not allow clearance for the valve to be fully open and the piston to be at the top of its stroke. If the belt fails, the piston will collide with the valve and will bend or break the valve, damage the piston, and/or bend a connecting rod. When this type of failure occurs, the engine will need to be replaced or disassembled for further internal inspection; either choice costing many times that of replacing the timing belt.